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Whats a reasonable price for installing a new run capacitor on gas furnace?

Whats a reasonable price for installing a new run capacitor on gas furnace?


  #1  
Old 09-26-10, 01:04 PM
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Whats a reasonable price for installing a new run capacitor on gas furnace?

A technician was at my home doing a routine annual checkup on my furnace and found a bad capacitor. He replaced it which took about 15 minutes. He charged me $210 for doing that. The price of the capacitor is about $8.00 online. Seems like I was ripped off for only a 15 minute job.
 
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Old 09-26-10, 01:17 PM
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Well...if it was working fine..it does seem odd. If the cap was bulged or leaking..then he saved you an emergency call which would have prob cost more.

Most techs carry a universal cap, which is significantly more than a specific cap for your unit, and avg markup is 100%. That and the typical labor charge doesn't seem that far out of line.

More important is what else is included in the "checkup" and how much you are paying. Is he checking input and output temps? Does he inspect the burner?
 
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Old 09-26-10, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Well...if it was working fine..it does seem odd. If the cap was bulged or leaking..then he saved you an emergency call which would have prob cost more.

Most techs carry a universal cap, which is significantly more than a specific cap for your unit, and avg markup is 100%. That and the typical labor charge doesn't seem that far out of line.

More important is what else is included in the "checkup" and how much you are paying. Is he checking input and output temps? Does he inspect the burner?
When he started the furnace and the blower motor started up, it started very very slowly. The cap was only reading about 3.5 amp, when it should have been reading 7+ amps. He does check the things you mention.
 
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Old 09-26-10, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by James180 View Post
A technician was at my home doing a routine annual checkup on my furnace and found a bad capacitor. He replaced it which took about 15 minutes. He charged me $210 for doing that. The price of the capacitor is about $8.00 online. Seems like I was ripped off for only a 15 minute job.
I am glad I am not a furnace man by actual trade, as I could not live with myself for charging people something like that, for something so easy to do. There are guys out there who work their you know what off, sanding sheetrock powder (even overhead, falling into their eyes, breathing the stuff) for hours, that may not make that - in a day! That is a sin, no two ways about it in my book. Just because the guy knows something about furnaces, there is no $1,000,000 cat scan or some other fancy tool necessary. The guy might not even know how to test a cap - and based on symptioms he just might have plugged in a new one, he had from his truck, and if the thing now ran, great.

I'd say for a pro to come out and do the job, I will say anything under $100. That is still $85 or so profit for 3/4 - 1 hour, counting time there and time back to where he came from.
 
  #5  
Old 09-26-10, 02:09 PM
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A lot depends on the prevailing labor rates in your area. I would say that if you lived in a typical urban area that and the technician had come specifically for a blower problem that a charge of $100 to $150 would have been appropriate. If you lived in a really large city like Chicago or New York the charge could have easily been upwards of $200.

However, since the technician was already at your home doing a routine check of the furnace there should not have been any additional trip charges and the cost should have been only for the part and labor to make the change. Assuming a labor charge of $100 per hour and only 15 additional minutes to make the change I would say that the total charge for changing the capacitor should be under $50.

This wasn't a "coupon" deal for a "safety check" that you got in the mail was it? Those coupons are usually a total ripoff because the technician will almost always find a problem that needs repair and then the charges go up astronomically.
 
 

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